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Published: September 11th 2019
“The history of New England is the history of America. It’s the Pilgrims who came ashore at Plymouth Rock and the minutemen who fought for American independence . It’s the ponderings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the protests of Harriet Beecher Stowe . It’s hundreds of years of poets and philosophers, progressive thinkers who dared to dream and dared to do. It is generations of immigrants who have shaped New England into the dynamic region that it is today” (Lonely Planet, New England, 2017, p. 4).
New Hampshire “bleeds jagged mountains, scenic valleys and forest-lined lakes - they lurk in every corner of this rugged state.” We didn’t spend much time in New Hampshire, but drove the Kancamagus Highway through the White Mountains, a ”spectacular region of soaring peaks and lush valleys” (LP, pp. 332, 347).
Vermont is the only state “to elect a socialist senator in the 21st century and the only one without a McDonald’s in its capital city; it remains a haven of quirky creativity unlike any place else in America ... Whether seen under blankets of snow, patchworks of blazing fall leaves or the exuberant greens of spring
and summer, Vermont’s blend of bucolic farmland, mountains and picturesque small villages make it one of America’s most appealing states” (LP, p. 276).
My nephew lived in Vermont a few years ago, so we had been there previously. The fall colors are truly amazing, and the skiing is great; this was our first time being there in the summer, which is also beautiful.
As we were driving through Montpelier, Vermont, looking for an ATM, we saw crowds of people carrying lounge chairs towards a park. Turns out, Michael Franti was performing that night in a local park to raise money for a charity. We had places to go, and things to do, so we decided to move on.
We had taken a tour of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory on a previous visit (definitely worth it); this time, I just wanted to see the ice cream “flavor graveyard” where retired ice cream flavors have been laid to rest, with an inscription on the tombstone of years when the flavor “lived” and the “cause of death.” Of course we had to get a scoop of one of the living flavors. We saw a group of guys making
their way through a bucket of ice cream; they gotten a Vermonster (https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2014/vermonster-sundaes
). It looked pretty serious.
“VT 100 is one of the finest stretches of road in the country; a bucolic mix of rolling hills, covered bridges, white steeples and fertile farmland” (LP, p. 299). We saw several covered bridges in the area, which were built to protect the trusses and decks from snow and rain, and hopefully prevent rot and decay. One of the bridges we included in these photos was built in 1849 and another in 1879.
Cape Cod is full of “quaint fishing villages, kitschy tourist traps and genteel towns - the Cape has many faces” (LP, p. 126). We went to a beach where parking cost $20 per day during the week ($50 per day on weekends), and then for a drive along the Cape Cod National Seashore. Beautiful. We stayed in Hyannis, which is where the “Kennedy complex” is. We drove near their neighborhood, but couldn’t see much.
As I said in an earlier blog, we decided to see more landscape and nature than cities, and this was especially true in Boston. We had both been here before, and didn’t really
want to see the city again, but I really, really wanted to go to a baseball game at Fenway Park, which was built in 1912 and is the oldest baseball stadium in Major League Baseball. The Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0. We tried to drive around the city afterwards, but traffic was really bad, worse than in Seattle. We took a drive through the Harvard University campus, then eventually escaped out of the city’s traffic.
In Rhode Island, “during the 19th century, the wealthiest New York bankers and families chose Newport, Rhode Island as their summer playground, building their fabulous mansions along Bellevue Avenue” which “offer a glimpse into a world of unabashed wealth” (LP, pp. 223, 13). We did a little sightseeing drive, passing some of these “houses.” Amazing.
Mystic, Connecticut has a postcard-perfect harbor. We stopped nearby for our last lobster rolls - so delicious!! In my quest to visit Ivy League schools, we drove through Yale University.
Miles driven after this blog, from Seattle: 18,327 miles, or about 29,495 km.
Tot: 0.128s; Tpl: 0.048s; cc: 9; qc: 24; dbt: 0.0152s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.2mb